Police Cadets wrap Christmas presents for some of the most deprived children in Nottingham
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Hundreds of Christmas presents and gift packages have been prepared for Nottingham’s most deprived children by Volunteer Police Cadets.
The cadet groups in Mansfield, Bulwell, Bestwood, Hyson Green and Police Force Headquarters spent five evenings during November and December wrapping gifts for the Bags of Blessings charity, which is based in Daybrook.
Bags of Blessings aims to improve the lives of children and combat poverty by collecting and distributing donated gifts to deprived youngsters aged 16 and under who otherwise would not receive a present at Christmas.
The charity puts donation boxes in schools, churches and businesses to collect small toys, stationery, books or tins of confectionery.
The cadets and cadet leaders also donated a book or toy to add to the charity’s collection efforts.
Donations are sorted into age groups, wrapped, placed into a drawstring bag and then distributed through food banks, homeless and refugee charities, and other organisations that support disadvantaged children.
A total of 10 volunteers from the charity attended several police cadet sessions and together the cadets and cadet leaders helped to prepare Christmas bags by wrapping gifts.
Across the five bases, the cadet groups worked in teams to wrap as many presents and prepare as many gifts as possible – totalling 430 bags.
Lyndsey Hufton, Citizens in Policing Coordinator at Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“All the cadet bases did a fantastic job in wrapping the presents and getting the bags ready.
“We had some great feedback from both the leaders and the cadets themselves about how Bags of Blessings was such a great idea and how much fun they had helping.
“Seeing all the wonderful teamwork and enthusiasm of our cadets helping this charity was really humbling and I am proud of them all for their hard work and commitment, not only for this volunteering session but throughout their whole cadet journey. Well done cadets!”
Chris Shuter, Bags of Blessings co-founder and chair of trustees, said it was a “pleasure” to work with the cadets, who “left a lasting impression”.
“Many of them had not wrapped a gift before but most were willing to learn,” she said. “Once they had mastered the basics and tamed the Sellotape dispensers, there was no stopping them.”
Ms Shuter added:
“This saved us around 80 hours and meant that we could pack even more bags for disadvantaged children and young people.”
In total, 1,991 bags were distributed this year, each containing at least five gifts.
“We would not have been able to achieve this number without the cadet’s help, who are a credit to the Force.”